Why You Should Consider Vendor-Exclusive Catalogs

Jun 30, 2006 8:57 PM  By

Buyers aren’t loyal just to their brand of beer or to their Corvette; they tend to buy the same brand when it comes to power tools, kitchen knives, computers, cameras, and a host of other products too. Mailing a single-brand catalog to past buyers of that brand can become a high-profit microniche business.

The increasing use of relational databases makes it easy to select buyers of a certain brand and products that are similar to or complementary to a brand. This tightly focused circulation is the key to profitably mailing catalogs with a single brand of merchandise.

There are some powerful advantages to vendor-exclusive catalogs:

  • Vendors will often pay some or all of the cost of the catalog if only their products are included. If the vendors pay printing, paper, and postage, the catalogs are profitable the day you mail them.
  • Even if vendors won’t pay the entire cost, it’s an efficient use of accrued cooperative advertising funds.
  • Vendors love brand-exclusive catalogs, and they’re a powerful negotiating tool because the vendors can use the catalogs too.
  • Manufacturers love distributors who send their catalog to buyers of competitive brands and will often dig deep for funds to swipe market share from their competitors.
  • Single-brand catalogs are profitable package inserts.
  • Vendor-exclusive catalogs can allow you to squeeze one more mailing into a crowded holiday mailing schedule.

Microniche circulation planning can dramatically spike sales and profits. Work with the major brands you sell to develop strategies to sell more to the buyers of specific brands.

Jim Coogan is president of Santa Fe, NM-based Catalog Marketing Economics.